Larry Anfin

| photography by Alex Lepe |

Known as a quiet doer, longtime Fort Worth businessman and civic leader Larry Anfin may not talk much, but when he does say something, people listen. Fully engaged in the community and always on the street, Anfin’s moniker is ‘Mr. Main Street.’

Anfin serves as chairman of the Festivals and Events Committee for Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc., producers of the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival. Returning to Fort Worth for its 30th consecutive year, the festival has become one of the most attended and celebrated arts festivals in the country and is the largest such festival in the State of Texas. Free and open-to-the-public, with a footprint from 9th Street to Weatherford Street, MAIN ST. will showcase art, music, food and culture from April 9-12.  

Making a festival of this magnitude run smoothly is a big job, Anfin admits, but he gives credit to the leadership team and hundreds of volunteers. “It’s not just the chairman. There are a lot of people who make this work. MAIN ST. is volunteer-driven,” he says.

“I can’t say enough exceptional things about Larry Anfin,” says Jay Downie, longtime producer of MAIN ST. “I met the man 12 years ago when he had assumed the presenting sponsorship {Coors Distributing Company} of the festival. We’ve had some terrific sponsors along the way, and Larry is at the top of that list. He’s always been supportive, innovative, and he’s been my go-to person when I have any questions. As an executive committee chair, he’s adept at managing the process, staying focused on vision and policy, and working with this team to elevate the events we do, bringing people downtown in the best possible way. Larry just couldn’t be a more exemplary person to work with.”

Anfin says that Downie makes organizing the festival look easy. “I remember walking down the street with him one time, and he got like three or four phone calls with different things to do, and he just did it, like it was no big deal,” Anfin says. “If you don’t know what you’re doing, this festival would be overwhelming. Jay continually looks for ways to improve things. He makes sure it’s done right, and he doesn’t want accolades. That’s why MAIN ST. is the success it is today.”

At age 14, Anfin started working for Coors Distributing Company of Fort Worth, which his grandfather, John McMillian, and Ed Curtis founded in 1966. Anfin’s first job was in the recycling center on East Northside Drive in 1974. He worked during summer breaks throughout high school. It was not glamorous, Anfin says. “We averaged 7,000 pounds a day in cans. It was a pretty hard job. The center wasn’t covered or anything. There were two buildings and an open lot. That’s where the recycling center was.”

After riding on the beer truck and attending Texas Christian University for a time, Anfin returned to Coors and worked his way up the corporate ladder, learning all areas of the business. “I started back on trucks for a little while and then went into different phases of the company,” he recalls. “I went from being an assistant for my grandfather, to general manager at the Arlington operation, and eventually came back to Fort Worth.” 

After 48 years as a family business operating in Tarrant and Johnson counties, Anfin, who was CEO, and his three brothers sold to Dallas-based Andrews Distributing of North Texas in March 2014. Andrews Distributing is the presenting company of MAIN ST. this year.

Anfin serves on the boards or executive committees of 21 different organizations, including the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate, A Wish with Wings, Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Tarrant Area Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Victory Therapy Center, Stage West, Fort Worth Police Officers’ Award Foundation, 4H Foundation, and the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show.

“We’ve got this great arts festival, plus look at this downtown,” Anfin says. “It’s a showcase now. Tens of thousands come together to enjoy one of the world’s greatest art galleries and venues. The original hope that MAIN ST. would someday become a multi-faceted festival that would transform downtown into an outdoor gallery and concert stage has not only come to life but has exceeded what anyone thought was possible.”

Larry has been married to Karen for 31 years. They are parents to four adult children: Elizabeth, 31; David, 29; Sara, 27; and Kevin, 23.